Interesting some users of this forum often declare themselves as either a “Stovie” or not. I know it is done "tongue in cheek" but just maybe some are serious? As if declaring allegiance to one over the other implies that a belief system that one appliance is somehow superior to the other. Stoves are difficult to store and display. Mostly big green boxes that sit flat on a shelf and take up a lot of space. If you want to display them you need a flat surface, counter top height and width or a bevy of folding stands.
Lanterns on the other hand, sit ready for use on a narrow shelf or hang from a hook and just are pretty as you please. “Light me up and I will be brilliant or just look at my curves, shiny paint and pretty glass” they say. Or “marvel at my nickel finish”. Stoves are the more masculine of the two, built for work, ready to flex those BTU’s into making a hungry man’s dinner but a not a lot of glamour in looks. Of course I am casting a wide net here and there are the single burner stoves that have those great industrial lines and take up much smaller space. Even the hard core lantern guys seem to sneak a single burner or two in their display line-ups while steadfastly swearing they are not true Stovies as if it was a curse just above illegal drug use. They may claim they don’t collect stoves but if you were to look carefully, likely there is a stove or two (or six) hidden in the garage cabinets they get out and paw over when no one is looking.
Then there are the softer edges of the European brassies with their curves and polish with that kind of squat under a pot and lift it up like some eastern bloc weight lifter kind of look. I do like brassies, they somehow look like you once set a too heavy pot on them and squashed them down. And they roar when they work, just screaming at you on how hard the task at hand is but they are not giving up until the job is done. Mostly though, they have to be first approached with some decorum as they need some encouragement to work right, maybe a little alcohol preheat just to get them in the mood, an extra pump or two. A lot of them have the exotic etched on foreign languages which bring up the image of a halted caravan in the desert sands, perhaps an oasis where tea is being brewed before pushing on further into the dunes.
But that is not the American way. The American way of camping requires a truck load of gear and full on meals fixed under that tree canopy. Those other guys don’t even have trees (palm an date trees don’t count). We are talking pine trees where a true camper has at least one suitcase stove and maybe a single or two for side jobs along with a campfire. Breakfasts consists of eggs and bacon, hash browns and toast. There has to be at least a gallon of boiled coffee and perhaps a biscuit of two. Lunch can be the leftover bacon and biscuits, if there is any leftovers, but dinner has to be a full blown production of steak and beans and just maybe a cobbler. If you were lucky, maybe a fish fry from those trout you pulled from the stream or lake. Sure you can get away with a measly little single burner if your meal preparation consists of pouring hot water into a foil poach and making your environmentally friendly, no caffeine, herbal tea but what is the fun in that. True camping require meals that give heart surgeons pause and require three to five burners chugging along. Now go get that suitcase out and give it some love, it is calling to you.
(if anybody’s feelings were hurt in this little rant, I only did it for good natured fun and also, toughen up buttercup, I think your therapist needs another payment.)